Around the Watershed: News and Events

Stream Stewardship Scholarships Available

Posted on: December 4th, 2019 by Leslie_Zucker

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram announces the avail­abil­ity of Stream Stew­ard­ship Train­ing Schol­ar­ships to attend stream and flood­plain man­age­ment train­ings in 2020. A lim­ited num­ber of schol­ar­ships will be offered to munic­i­pal staff work­ing directly on stream and flood­plain man­age­ment in the Ashokan Reser­voir watershed.

Schol­ar­ships cover atten­dance at:

and

 

For infor­ma­tion on cov­ered costs and how to request a schol­ar­ship, see the schol­ar­ship guide­lines.

If none of the train­ings above apply to you, join us at train­ings and edu­ca­tional events offered by the AWSMP through­out the year.

Fall Is Planting Season with CSBI

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by Tim Koch

IMG_4655

Fall is in full swing: the leaves have changed, the tem­per­a­tures have dropped, and the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI) is busy get­ting plants in the ground. Autumn is the best time to plant native trees and shrubs because the plants have gone dor­mant for win­ter; they have stopped actively grow­ing for the year.  When dor­mant trees and shrubs are planted in the late fall, the freeze-thaw cycles they will expe­ri­ence over the com­ing win­ter months helps to close any void spaces in the soil left­over after back-filling the holes. This cre­ates good root-soil con­tact so that in the spring the plants can start grow­ing vig­or­ously as soon as the soil tem­per­a­tures warm up.

Proposed Planting Areas

CSBI is imple­ment­ing five plant­ing projects this fall, includ­ing one at Emer­son Resort & Spa in Mt. Trem­per, NY. Other ripar­ian buffer plant­ing projects will be com­pleted in Wood­stock, Shan­daken, and Olive. More than 2,000 native trees, shrubs, and wild­flow­ers will be planted along streams, help­ing to reduce stream bank ero­sion, fil­ter stormwa­ter runoff, and pro­vide unique habitat.

CSBI is a landowner assis­tance pro­gram aimed at inform­ing and assist­ing stream­side landown­ers in becom­ing good stew­ards of their ripar­ian areas through pro­tec­tion, enhance­ment, man­age­ment, and restora­tion. Tech­ni­cal and finan­cial assis­tance is avail­able to eli­gi­ble landown­ers for ripar­ian buffer improvements.

To find out more about CSBI and to see if you are eligible:

click here for pro­gram brochure,

click here for pro­gram guidelines,

and click here for appli­ca­tion materials.

 

Town of Olive Supervisor Honored at AWSMP Stakeholder Council Meeting

Posted on: November 14th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
Town of Olive Supervisor Sylvia Rozzelle receives the "Friend of the Creek Award" at a recent AWSMP Stakeholder's Council Meeting

Town of Olive Super­vi­sor Sylvia Rozzelle receives the “Friend of the Creek Award” at a recent AWSMP Stakeholder’s Coun­cil Meeting

Sylvia Rozzelle, the Town of Olive Super­vi­sor, was awarded the “Friend of the Creek Award” at the AWSMP Stakeholder’s Coun­cil Meet­ing on Novem­ber 13th. Rozzelle, who is retir­ing at the end of this year, was rec­og­nized for all her efforts in pro­mot­ing good stream and flood­plain man­age­ment for the Town of Olive. Some of her many accom­plish­ments include:

  • Over­see­ing a Local Flood Analy­sis (LFA) for the ham­lets of Boiceville and West Shokan.
  • Help­ing to final­ize a Flood Haz­ard Mit­i­ga­tion Plan for the Town of Olive.
  • Cre­at­ing and lead­ing the Olive Flood Advi­sory Com­mit­tee, a body that helps to over­see flood haz­ard mit­i­ga­tion activ­i­ties in the Town.
  • Spear­head­ing a stream restora­tion project on the Bushkill set to com­mence in 2020.
  • Work­ing with AWSMP, Ulster County, and the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion to acquire haz­ardous flood­plain prop­er­ties as part of the NYC-Funded Buy­out Program.

Sylvia also helps to coor­di­nate with AWSMP and the Town’s High­way Depart­ment to ensure that road-stream cross­ings are ade­quately sized, placed, and funded. She has also ensured that the Town’s Build­ing Depart­ment offi­cials as well as mem­bers of the Town Plan­ning Board and Zon­ing Board of Appeals are ade­quately trained in flood­plain man­age­ment. Because of her advo­cacy, the Town Code Enforce­ment Offi­cer engaged with AWSMP to obtain train­ing and become a Cer­ti­fied Flood­plain Man­ager. And both the Plan­ning Board and Zon­ing Board of Appeals have received train­ing on National Flood Insur­ance Pro­gram top­ics dur­ing Sylvia’s tenure as Supervisor.

We hope that Sylvia enjoys a well-deserved retire­ment and that we’ll con­tinue to see her at the stream pro­gram office in Shokan. More infor­ma­tion about Sylvia and her achieve­ments will be fea­tured in an upcom­ing issue of the Eso­pus Creek News.

Public Water: Be involved in a public art project about the NYC water system

Posted on: October 21st, 2019 by Tim Koch

AWSMP is part­ner­ing with the Cary Insti­tute of Ecosys­tem Stud­ies and NYC-based More Art to develop the mes­sag­ing for Pub­lic Water: a pub­lic art project aimed at bring­ing atten­tion to the efforts of upstate cit­i­zens and com­mu­ni­ties in sup­ply­ing clean and reli­able water to New York City. AWSMP will host two work­shops on Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 2nd to share sto­ries about the expe­ri­ences of upstate com­mu­ni­ties involved in NYC water sup­ply oper­a­tions, dis­cuss the com­plex ways that water con­nects upstate and down­state com­mu­ni­ties, and develop a per­for­mance script that will spread this mes­sage through an inter­ac­tive pub­lic art exhibit in 2020.

PublicWater_graphic

New York City based visual artist Mary Mat­tingly will build a geo­desic sculp­ture that rep­re­sents the struc­tural ecosys­tem of the Catskill water sup­ply sys­tem and engage the pub­lic through an inter­ac­tive per­for­mance art dia­logue devel­oped with the input of upstate stake­hold­ers at work­shops hosted by AWSMP and the Cary Insti­tute. The sculp­ture and per­for­mance will debut in a highly traf­ficked pub­lic space in NYC in spring 2020.

The work­shops will be held Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 2nd from 10 am — 5 pm. The first work­shop (10–1) will focus on gath­er­ing sto­ries and per­spec­tives about how water sup­ply oper­a­tions impact upstate res­i­dents and com­mu­ni­ties. The sec­ond work­shop (2–5) will focus on devel­op­ing a per­for­mance script to share these sto­ries with down­state res­i­dents who inter­act with the sculp­ture and per­for­mance. Com­pli­men­tary light lunch and refresh­ments will be served.

The work­shops are free and open to the pub­lic. Please reg­is­ter here.

For more infor­ma­tion please con­tact AWSMP’s Tim Koch (tk545@cornell.edu) or More Art’s Elana Lado (info@moreart.org).

 

Acclaimed Scientist to discuss Stream Management in the Catskills

Posted on: October 11th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
Dave Rosgen, Ph.D. teaches a class about fluvial geomorphology.

Dave Ros­gen, Ph.D. teaches a class about flu­vial geomorphology.

 

The New York City Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (NYC DEP) will host a pub­lic lec­ture by Dave Ros­gen, Ph.D., who is widely regarded as one of the fore­most stream man­age­ment experts in the world. His talk, “Liv­ing with Moun­tain Rivers in a Chang­ing Cli­mate” will focus on mak­ing river com­mu­ni­ties resilient to more fre­quent flood­ing as a result of cli­mate change. He will share best man­age­ment prac­tices for river man­age­ment includ­ing his approach to river restora­tion known as Nat­ural Chan­nel Design. This approach works with the nat­ural ten­den­cies of rivers to reach equi­lib­rium within the land­scape they pass through.

Ros­gen is a pro­fes­sional hydrol­o­gist and geo­mor­phol­o­gist with 49 years of expe­ri­ence work­ing in rivers. He has designed and imple­mented more than 70 large scale river restora­tion projects. His work has been fea­tured in national pub­li­ca­tions such as National Geo­graphic and the New York Times and he has authored more than five dozen reports, jour­nal arti­cles and fed­eral agency man­u­als and books. He has taught short courses in water­shed man­age­ment and river restora­tion for river man­agers through­out the coun­try for the past 25 years.

Since the mid-1990s, DEP has pro­vided nearly $200 mil­lion to fund restora­tion of nearly 50 miles of stream in the Catskills, includ­ing more than 400 indi­vid­ual projects. The projects, many of which have used Rosgen’s meth­ods, are coor­di­nated through unique part­ner­ships with local agen­cies. In Ulster County, this is done through the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) which is a part­ner­ship between Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster County and the Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict. These col­lab­o­ra­tions have yielded wide-ranging ben­e­fits to local com­mu­ni­ties and to water quality.

The talk will be held at the Over­look Lodge of Bel­leayre Moun­tain, 181 Galli Curci Road in High­mount, NY on Octo­ber 21, from 7:00–9:00pm. It is free of charge and open to the pub­lic. Space is lim­ited and reg­is­tra­tion is encouraged.

Thank You for Helping us Celebrate Ashokan Watershed Month

Posted on: October 3rd, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
AWSMP staff kayak on the lake of Kenneth Wilson Campground and a section of the Little Beaver Kill during Ashokan Watershed Month 2019.

AWSMP staff kayak on the lake of Ken­neth Wil­son Camp­ground and a sec­tion of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill dur­ing Ashokan Water­shed Month 2019.

 

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram would like to thank every­one for par­tic­i­pat­ing in our inau­gural Ashokan Water­shed Month. Ear­lier this year, AWSMP staff devel­oped a series of ambi­tious and cre­ative pro­grams that we hoped would be of inter­est to a wide cross-section of the peo­ple who visit, live, and work in the Ashokan Reser­voir Water­shed. Now that it’s all over we believe that it was a resound­ing success!

Will Lytle reads from his new AWSMP funded children's book "Little One and the Water" at the Golden Notebook in Woodstock during Ashokan Watershed Month 2019.

Will Lytle reads from his new AWSMP funded children’s book “Lit­tle One and the Water” at the Golden Note­book in Wood­stock dur­ing Ashokan Water­shed Month 2019.

 

The pro­grams that were offered included:

  • An En Plein Air Stream­side Paint­ing class where par­tic­i­pants learned how to use water col­ors to paint a stream scene while learn­ing about the stream fea­tures they were painting.
  • The NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (NYC DEP) gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on Under­stand­ing Ashokan Reser­voir Oper­a­tions and explained how they are going to upgrade their infra­struc­ture in the com­ing years.
  • AWSMP part­nered with Rail Explor­ers to host a Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus where par­tic­i­pants got to see the Eso­pus Creek from a wholly dif­fer­ent perspective.
  • At Ken­neth Wil­son Camp­ground we hosted a Water­shed Pad­dle where par­tic­i­pants got to learn about streams while float­ing on the water itself.
  • AWSMP hosted Dr. Dorothy Peteet of Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity and NASA who gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on Pale­o­cli­mate of the Catskills.
  • Both the United States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS) and the Ashokan-Pepacton Chap­ter of Trout Unlim­ited gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on the fish­eries of the Eso­pus Creek and the his­tory of fly fish­ing the area, respectively.
  • Ulster County and NYC DEP gave par­tic­i­pants a sneak peek of the Ashokan Reser­voir Rail Trail and a new appre­ci­a­tion for wet­lands dur­ing our Impor­tance of Water­shed Wet­lands walk.
  • AWSMP had not one, but two Book Sign­ings and Read­ings of “Lit­tle One and the Water,” an envi­ron­men­tally themed children’s book funded by AWSMP.
  • Finally, we rounded out the month with a Ripar­ian Buffer Plant­ing on the Beaver Kill in the Town of Wood­stock where vol­un­teers helped reveg­e­tate a stream project site and fol­lowed it up with a Clos­ing Party at the Phoeni­cia Diner.

 

A scene from "The Importance of Watershed Wetlands" walk and talk from Ashokan Watershed Month 2019.

A scene from “The Impor­tance of Water­shed Wet­lands” walk and talk from Ashokan Water­shed Month 2019.

 

While we may be done with Water­shed Month pro­gram­ming you can still take part in the Ashokan Water­shed Adven­ture, a self-guided tour of impor­tant sites through­out the water­shed. Book­lets with infor­ma­tion about each of the sites are avail­able at our office or can be down­loaded. Those who do the adven­ture can still pick-up their prizes while they last.

Once again, thank you all for help­ing us cel­e­brate what makes our water­shed so unique. Be sure to check our web­site and social media accounts often to see future pro­gram­ming and hap­pen­ings from AWSMP!

 

Volunteers and AWSMP help plant native riparian vegetation on the site of stream restoration project along Mink Hollow during Ashokan Watershed Month 2019.

Vol­un­teers and AWSMP help plant native ripar­ian veg­e­ta­tion on the site of a stream restora­tion project along Mink Hol­low Rd. dur­ing Ashokan Water­shed Month 2019.

Help AWSMP plant a Riparian Buffer then join us for a Party!

Posted on: September 25th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
Help AWSMP plant a riparian buffer this weekend and join us for the Ashokan Watershed Month Closing Party!

Help AWSMP plant a ripar­ian buffer this week­end and join us for the Ashokan Water­shed Month Clos­ing Party!

 

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) hopes you had great time cel­e­brat­ing Ashokan Water­shed Month with us. Now we need your help with our last pro­gram to close out the celebrations!

Join us this Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 28, and help us plant a ripar­ian buffer at the site of a stream restora­tion project in the Town of Wood­stock. Meet us at the inter­sec­tion of Mink Hol­low Road and Van Hoagland Road near Lake Hill, NY at 10:00am. AWSMP staff will direct you where to park. From 10:00am to approx­i­mately 2:00pm we will be plant­ing native ripar­ian plants along a stream­bank. Water and some light refresh­ments will be on hand.

After the plant­ing is over we hope that you can join us at the Phoeni­cia Diner, located at 5681 State Route 28 in Phoeni­cia for a Clos­ing Party. We will be located out­side in the Phoenica Diner’s “Lot.” Par­tic­i­pants will be given a voucher to help pay for food from the Phoeni­cia Diner’s Airstream Food Truck. The Clos­ing Party will be approx­i­mately one hour in length.

Par­tic­i­pants in the plant­ing will also receive an Ashokan Water­shed Month reusable tote bag. Any­one is wel­come to par­tic­i­pate in the Plant­ing and Clos­ing Party but reg­is­tra­tion is required. We look for­ward to see­ing you on Sat­ur­day to get your hands dirty help­ing the envi­ron­ment and to cel­e­brate the end of Ashokan Water­shed Month!

AWSMP learned about Fisheries and Fly Fishing at the Catskills Visitors Center

Posted on: September 24th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
Scott George USGS

Scott George, fish­eries biol­o­gist with USGS, talks about fish of the upper Eso­pus Creek.

 

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) learned about the state of Eso­pus Creek fish­eries and the his­tory of fly fish­ing in the Catskills at the “Eso­pus Creek Fish and Fly Fish­ing Demon­stra­tion” held at the Catskills Vis­i­tor Cen­ter on Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 20. This event was part of AWSMP’s Ashokan Water­shed Month series of programs.

Scott George of the United States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS) started off with a pre­sen­ta­tion on the research that USGS has done on the Eso­pus. He explained that after events like Trop­i­cal Storm Irene, which dev­as­tated the area in 2011, they expected the fish­ery to be in decline in the years that fol­lowed. Quite to the con­trary they found that the fish­ery rebounded quickly after the flood and actu­ally did bet­ter than in some years imme­di­ately prior to the flood. While there is no defin­i­tive answer on why this is, George sus­pects the move­ment of sed­i­ment dur­ing the flood may have cov­ered over or cleaned away some fine deposits, which pro­vided a bet­ter sub­strate for spawning.

Fly Fishing Instruction 9-2019

Mark Loete, owner of Catskill Moun­tain Fly Fish­ing Guid­ing and Instruc­tion and Trout Unlim­ited mem­ber, demon­strates how to cast with a fly rod.

 

Fol­low­ing this Mark Loete of the Ashokan-Pepacton Chap­ter of Trout Unlim­ited gave a talk about the his­tory of fly fish­ing around the world and more specif­i­cally about fly fish­ing the Eso­pus Creek. He explained that the Eso­pus Creek is the birth­place of Amer­i­can fly fish­ing, made pop­u­lar by anglers like Theodore Gor­don and depicted by artists of the Hud­son River School like Asher Durand. At the end of the pro­gram he gave par­tic­i­pants a short les­son on how to prop­erly cast a fly rod.

There are still a few pro­grams left for Ashokan Water­shed Month. Be sure to check them out by vis­it­ing our web­site.

Watershed Residents Rode the Rails with AWSMP and Rail Explorers

Posted on: September 13th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
One of the many happy families participating the "Sunset Rail Pedal along the Esopus" program. Photo by Chet Karwatowski

One of the many happy fam­i­lies par­tic­i­pat­ing in the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus” pro­gram. Photo by Chet Karwatowski

 

Ashokan Water­shed res­i­dents had the oppor­tu­nity to expe­ri­ence the Eso­pus Creek like few oth­ers have before. On Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 12, par­tic­i­pants came out to the Rail Explor­ers Catskill Divi­sion in Phoeni­cia to have the unique expe­ri­ence of rid­ing a Rail Explor­ers rail car and also learn about the Eso­pus Creek. After some open­ing remarks from AWSMP and a safety talk from Rail Explor­ers, par­tic­i­pants set out on the 8-mile round trip tour on rail­road tracks that mostly par­al­lel the Eso­pus Creek. Dur­ing a reg­u­lar Rail Explor­ers tour, par­tic­i­pants make only one stop to turn the cars around for the return jour­ney. AWSMP worked with Rail Explor­ers to find two addi­tional stops so edu­ca­tors could talk about stream man­age­ment topics.

Participants in the "Sunset Rail Pedal along the Esopus" listen to Aaron Bennett of the Ulster County Department of the Environment talk about flood mitigation actions occurring near the Route 28 Bridge (in background) in Mount Tremper. Photo by Chet Karwatowski

Par­tic­i­pants in the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus” lis­ten to Aaron Ben­nett of the Ulster County Depart­ment of the Envi­ron­ment talk about flood mit­i­ga­tion actions occur­ring near the Route 28 Bridge (in back­ground) in Mount Trem­per. Photo by Chet Karwatowski

 

The first stop was roughly across the the Route 28 Bridge in Mount Trem­per where Aaron Ben­nett of the Ulster County Depart­ment of the Envi­ron­ment spoke about the flood mit­i­ga­tion activ­i­ties going on there. He explained about how the NYS Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (NYSDOT) is work­ing with the the Town of Shan­daken to help make that area less sus­cep­ti­ble to flood­ing. NYSDOT is replac­ing the Mount Trem­per Bridge with a larger and wider span that will lower flood ele­va­tions in the area. To do this they are work­ing with the Town of Shan­daken and the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (NYC DEP) to acquire prop­er­ties in that area so this project can be com­pleted. The bridge is expected to be replaced begin­ning next year and be com­pleted in 2021. The new bridge will be con­structed imme­di­ately down­stream of the old one so no detour will be nec­es­sary dur­ing construction.

Adam Doan of the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District talks about stream assessment protocols during the "Sunset Rail Pedal along the Esopus" program.

Adam Doan of the Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict talks about stream assess­ment dur­ing the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus” program.

 

At the turn­around loca­tion, Adam Doan of the Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict spoke about the stream assess­ment work that AWSMP does. He explained how AWSMP tech­ni­cians walk a stream and col­lect data and how that data is used to make man­age­ment rec­om­men­da­tions. He also talked about the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI) pro­gram and how qual­i­fy­ing landown­ers can access free native ripar­ian plants to reveg­e­tate their stream­banks. Adam described stud­ies and restora­tion projects done in the Stony Clove Creek (a trib­u­tary to the Eso­pus Creek) to improve stream sta­bil­ity and water quality.

Adam Doan Presents along Esopus Creek

Adam Doan of the Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict talks about ero­sion, road-stream cross­ings, and the washout of the rail tracks dur­ing Trop­i­cal Storm Irene dur­ing the “Rail Pedal Along the Eso­pus” program.

 

On the return leg of the trip, both Adam and Aaron talked about the washout of the train tracks that occurred near the Phoeni­cia Plaza on Route 28 and the process of ero­sion. They explained the impor­tance of good road-stream cross­ings and how AWSMP tech­ni­cians have assessed pub­lic cross­ings in the water­shed. They also men­tioned the impor­tance of wood in the flood­plain and the habi­tat and sta­bil­ity that it pro­vides to the stream.

Finally, at the end of the trip, par­tic­i­pants were invited to a short recep­tion at the nearby Empire State Rail­way Museum where each par­tic­i­pant received a reusable tote bag and addi­tional edu­ca­tional material.

This pro­gram was a part of Ashokan Water­shed Month which con­tin­ues through­out the month of Sep­tem­ber. Upcom­ing pro­grams include a “Water­shed Pad­dle” at Ken­neth Wil­son Camp­ground and a Book Sign­ing and Read­ing in Wood­stock. Please visit out Ashokan Water­shed Month web­page for addi­tional infor­ma­tion about this and other upcom­ing events.

Sunset over Esopus Creek

A sun­set over the Eso­pus dur­ing the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus” program.

Ashokan Watershed Residents Learn about Watershed Infrastructure

Posted on: September 10th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
Adam Bosch, Director of Public Affairs for the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, gives a presentation on NYC watershed infrastructure during the "Understanding Ashokan Reservoir Operations" program.

Adam Bosch, Direc­tor of Pub­lic Affairs for the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, gives a pre­sen­ta­tion on NYC water­shed infra­struc­ture dur­ing the “Under­stand­ing Ashokan Reser­voir Oper­a­tions” program.

 

Did you know the largest pub­lic works project in the Catskills in more than 50 years is being planned? Atten­dees learned this and more about how water makes the 92-mile jour­ney from upstate New York to New York City dur­ing the “Under­stand­ing Ashokan Reser­voir Oper­a­tions” pro­gram hosted by AWSMP on Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 9. That evening, NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (NYC DEP) Direc­tor of Pub­lic Affairs Adam Bosch gave a detailed pre­sen­ta­tion on the his­tory of NYC’s water­shed, cur­rent oper­a­tions, and the future plans that NYC DEP has to upgrade that infrastructure.

He started off with a his­tor­i­cal overview of NYC’s water sup­ply, from the ear­li­est wells that the city used, to the engi­neer­ing mar­vels that are the Catskill and Delaware Sys­tems. He went on to describe the impor­tant work done by hun­dreds of NYC DEP employ­ees that work to ensure that clean water is deliv­ered to NYC res­i­dents. These include sci­en­tists that ana­lyze thou­sands of water sam­ples each year to ensure there are no harm­ful pathogens in the water, police forces that pro­tect the water sup­ply, main­te­nance crews that ensure the infra­struc­ture is in good work­ing order, engi­neers who design new infra­struc­ture projects, and other efforts.

Of par­tic­u­lar note, he talked about how NYC DEP plans to reha­bil­i­tate the Catskill Aque­duct, which extends about 74 miles from the Ashokan Reser­voir to the Ken­sico Reser­voir in Westch­ester County. His­tor­i­cally, this aque­duct has had a capac­ity of 660 mil­lion gal­lons of water a day but has been reduced to approx­i­mately 590 mil­lion gal­lons a day due to a buildup of biofilms. Biofilms are harm­less bac­te­ria that have fil­a­ments that feed off of the nat­u­rally occur­ring iron and man­ganese in the water. Their growth has cre­ated fric­tion in the aque­duct that slows the flow of water. Between 2019 and 2020, NYC is plan­ning on peri­od­i­cally shut­ting down the aque­duct and send­ing crews down to remove the biofilm.

He ended his pre­sen­ta­tion by talk­ing about the Ashokan Cen­tury Pro­gram. This will be an approx­i­mately 10-year, $1 bil­lion project to begin in 2023. It will be the largest pub­lic works project in the Catskills in more than 50 years. It will include upgrades in and around the Ashokan Reser­voir includ­ing the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Olive­bridge dam and dikes, the spill­way, divid­ing weir bridge, intake cham­bers, and J. Waldo Smith Monument.

Any­one inter­ested in the pre­sen­ta­tion can view it by click­ing this link.

This pro­gram was part of Ashokan Water­shed Month, which is a series of pro­grams run­ning through­out the month of Sep­tem­ber. Our next pro­gram, the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus,” will be this Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 12. Other upcom­ing pro­grams include a “Water­shed Pad­dle” on Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 14 as well as a “Book Sign­ing and Read­ing” also on Sep­tem­ber 14. Please visit our web­page devoted to Ashokan Water­shed Month for more infor­ma­tion on these and other upcom­ing pro­grams for the month.